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Cologne

Cologne was raised to a 'colony' (hence the name), with city status by the Romans in 50 AD, and was later absorbed into the Gallic Empire, becoming the capital from 260-271. The city was highly prized by both of these communities, due mainly to its location on the River Rhine, which placed it at the intersection of the major trade routes east and west, and was the basis of Cologne's growth. In addition to this, several saints were martyred in the city and the relics of the Three Magi were acquired from Milan. Cologne then also became a centre of ecclesiastical importance, as well as a pilgrimage centre, meaning the city continued to prosper in the middle ages as a result. Following a slight decline in the city's fortunes, Cologne experienced something of a renaissance in the 18th century with a recipe involving distilling flower blossoms in alcohol. This 'toilet water' achieved worldwide fame as eau de Cologne.

Although Cologne was badly damaged in the Second World War, the Cathedral survived, and extensive restoration work has since taken place throughout the city. In the modern age Cologne has reclaimed its old role as a major trade and business centre - now a radio and television metropolis, and a beer city, with over twenty breweries producing Kölsch, the distinctive local beer. Whilst in Cologne you really ought to visit the vast Cathedral. The foundation stone was laid in 1248, and it was finally completed in 1880. Called "the mother of all German churches", it is one of the largest Gothic structures ever built, and its size reflects its power - it is the seat of the Primate of Germany. The Cathedral was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1996, and today you can see the relics of the Three Magi, and climb the south tower for a spectacular view of the city and the Rhine.

Sightseeing in Cologne
Cologne's Old Town, which has been carefully restored to preserve its pre-war appearance, is also a joy to discover. It spreads from just south of the Cathedral to the bank of the Rhine. Here you can admire the tall and narrow pastel-coloured houses, set out along the Old Town's winding streets, as you wander to the Rhine Promenade for a stroll along the river. There are many traditional brewery taverns close to the Old Town, all of which serve Kölsch beer - brewed only in Cologne. You may wish to visit at least one of these to sample the beer for yourself.

If you have the time to explore further, Cologne boasts an assemblage of both Roman and medieval remains that is unsurpassed in Germany. For example Eigelsteintor, one of the three surviving magnificent city gates, is a short distance north. The other gates, Severinstor and Hahnentor, are further afield but also worth a visit.

29 results matching: Escorted Rail Tours to Cologne

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Amadeus Queen
Early Booking
(8 reviews)
2021MayJunJulAugSep
9 days from
£2,295 pp
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9 days from
£2,295
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  • DestinationAustria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationCruise
  • TransportRail, Cruise
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The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen
(11 reviews)
2020Sep
2021MayJunJulAugSep
19 days from
£4,195 pp
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19 days from
£4,195
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  • DestinationDenmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Russia, Sweden
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International / St Pancras International, London Heathrow
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
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Glacier Express & St Moritz
(27 reviews)
2020Sep
2021MayJunJulAugSep
10 days from
£2,695 pp
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10 days from
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
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St Vinzenz, Heiligenblut
(46 reviews)
2020Sep
2021MayJunJulAugSepOct
9 days from
£1,545 pp
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9 days from
£1,545
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  • DestinationAustria
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
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Interlaken & the Jungfrau Express in Winter 2016
Early Booking
(13 reviews)
2021JanFeb
7 days from
£1,595 pp £1,555 pp
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Early Booking
7 days from
£1,595
£1,555
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
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Saxony by Steam
(10 reviews)
2020Sep
8 days from
£1,295 pp
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8 days from
£1,295
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  • DestinationGermany
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
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The Harz Mountains
Early Booking
(10 reviews)
2021JanFebMar
7 days from
£1,445 pp £1,415 pp
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7 days from
£1,445
£1,415
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  • DestinationGermany
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
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Zell am See
(14 reviews)
2020Sep
9 days from
£1,995 pp
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9 days from
£1,995
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  • DestinationAustria, Germany
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
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Premium Rhine Cruise
Early Booking
2020Sep
2021MayJunJulAugSep
8 days from
£2,095 pp
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8 days from
£2,095
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  • DestinationFrance, Germany, The Netherlands
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationCruise
  • TransportRail, Cruise
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Bavarian Christmas Wonderland
Early Booking
2020Dec
8 days from
£2,195 pp £2,145 pp
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Early Booking
8 days from
£2,195
£2,145
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  • DestinationGermany
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail, Coach
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Early Booking
9 days from
£2,495
£2,445
per person
View Details
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
Map and accommodation
Early Booking
9 days from
£2,570
£2,520
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  • DestinationSwitzerland
  • Starts / EndsSt Pancras International
  • AccommodationHotel
  • TransportRail
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Our customers love our Cologne tours
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Austrian Alps All-Inclusive
Anonymous
“The holiday was very well organised. The hotels were extremely good and rail travel and coach travel was very comfortable.
Cologne's Wonderful Markets
Mr C Woodhead
“i was impressed with the way Janet Thomas dealt with our 41/2hr delay on German Railways.
Delights of the Danube (Rail & Cruise)
Mr J Rowse
“The holiday was very good, visiting Berlin and Prague before boarding the Amadeus Brilliant which was excellent. Accommodation and food on board also excellent, a thoroughly enjoyable holiday.
Fairytale Castles & The Bavarian Alps
Anonymous
“It was a great experience
Grand Tour Of Switzerland
Anonymous
“It way exceeded my expectations
Highlights of the Baltics & Scandinavia
Anonymous
“on the whole accommodation was excellent Scancia in
Interlaken & the Jungfrau Express in Winter
Mr C Davies
“Amazing holiday already rebooked
Romantic Rhine, Black Forest & Lake Constance
Anonymous
“Excellent all round - a wonderful trip
Colditz, Meissen & Saxony by Steam
Mrs J Yaxley
“A wonderful holiday in great company. The overnight hotels in both Nuremburg and Cologne were acceptable as overnight stays. The main hotel in Dresden was excellent, lovely rooms, fabulous food. Well organised by Great Rail. Excursions were all excellent. We felt the Tour Manager treated us all rather like schoolkids but it didn't spoil the holiday. Would certainly recommend.
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